International Fisting Day Matters, Even to You: Part 1, Obscenity Laws

A movement has been created, starting with Jiz Lee (link NSFW) and Courtney Trouble (link NSFW) and making its way across the world wide web, to make this Friday, October 21, 2011 International Fisting Day (link NSFW).

Via fistingday.tumblr.com

Yes, fisting, as in the act of placing a whole hand inside a vagina or anus, usually for sexual stimulation and/or pleasure.

Gross, you might say. Oh GAWD, even. That is because – despite being a pleasurable, intimate experience – fisting is also highly misunderstood, both culturally and legally. Over the course of the next few days, I’m going to talk about fisting, the stigma surrounding it and why its censorship goes beyond just a feminist queer issue.

Because International Fisting day was created to fight the censorship of fisting in pornography and other mediums (it’s censored in non-erotic, “literary” books as well!), I think the best place to start is discussing why fisting is censored. For that, I’m reposting an article I wrote in July 2011 for my Ethics of Lust series on Autostraddle.com. Enjoy:

via jarpasmannen

As someone who loves a good fisting show (see the Crash Pad Series scene between Dylan Ryan and her real life partner Trucker Cash), I was shocked to see fisting on the Cambria List of legally taboo topics for porn and even more shocked to see that the U.S. government is actually prosecuting porn producers on “obscenity” charges for fisting.

Apparently, the government thinks lesbians are obscene.

Or at least that’s how it looked when I scanned the Cambria List and saw many acts in which I commonly engage listed there. No wonder people are scared of us sexual heathens, they’re told we’re going to teach their young blonde girls how to be fisted by large black men while blindfolded and on their periods – all of which is “obscene” according to the Cambria List and all of which I would totally watch in a porn.

via Someecards.com

What is it about fisting that has the government all riled up? Why is it that, in an era of terrorism, over-population, economic crises and mounting national debt, our Department of Justice is spending its money prosecuting a guy named Seymour Butts who makes a living off of selling fisting porn? (To be honest and fair, he was prosecuted 10 years ago, but 2001 really isn’t that far away, especially in judicial years.)

It’s easy to blame such things on the religious right, but it’s more than just the conservative folks being scared here. When people think of fisting, they think of tears and rips caused by punches in the privates, they don’t think of it as the satisfying, pleasurable and highly intimate experience that it can be. I remember the thrill of the first time I saw my whole hand was inside my girlfriend, realizing that she had gotten so turned I just slipped in without really trying. Neither of us were in pain – on the contrary, both of us were extremely turned on – and when she climaxed it was one of the most pleasurable, personal moments of our entire relationship. Sure, you can hurt yourself if you’re not careful – I know someone who has permanent damage from a fisting gone wrong – but if done right, fisting is both safe and sexually satisfying.

Fear and misinformation has kept fisting on the list of taboo topics and given it a spot on the Cambria List of obscene topics. For something to be considered obscene, a judge and/or jury must find that the contemporary community would consider the work (in this case fisting porn) “appeals to the prurient interest,” which means it can cause an excessive interest in sexual matters. It also has to lack artistic, political or scientific value, in which case pretty much every episode of The L Word was obscene.

via L Word Wiki

If the whole basis for something being obscene is causing the average person to get extra turned on, and the whole basis for fisting being taboo is fear, what does that say about our society’s connection of fear and arousal? Are we simply afraid of being aroused or are we aroused by that which scares us? Is fisting considered obscene solely because people are too afraid to try it themselves?

In a recent case regarding California’s attempt at outlawing obscenity and violence in video games sold to children, Justice Scalia, in an uncharacteristically liberal moment, stated, “Disgust is not a valid basis for restricting expression.”

via Kotaku

I’m rarely able to say this, but I’m with Justice Scalia. Disgust and fear shouldn’t be the sole basis for keeping anything illegal. Therefore, fisting, if done consensually and cautiously, should be legal to do and view.

For those out there who may still have trepidation regarding fisting, check out Hand in the Bush: The fine Art of Vaginal Fisting or the International Fisting Day Tumblr (link NSFW), both of which will have helpful information and instructions. And remember, patience and lube are the keys to not getting hurt.

 

About Queerie Bradshaw

Lauren Marie Fleming loves to put both sides of her brain to use. A writer since childhood, she runs the critically-acclaimed QueerieBradshaw.com blog and writes for major news sources as an expert on the legal and social issues surrounding sex, sexuality, gender and gender identity. Lauren also started Frisky Feminist Press (FriskyFeminist.com), which features sexual education guides and classes from the top sex educators on the Internet. From ivy-league universities to major conferences, Lauren has spoken all over the country and is internationally recognized for her dynamic, educational workshops. Check out her workshop page for a complete list of workshops and upcoming speaking engagements. A law school graduate, she started Creativity Squared, LLC to help bloggers, writers and other creative types turn their ideas into practical, sustainable products or services. Lauren particularly loves helping people find and amplify their voice, dig deep to write their difficult truths, and make a profit by doing what they love. Lauren offers her consulting services through group classes and individual coaching. Lauren is currently shopping her memoir, Losing It: My Life as a Sex Blogger, based on her popular Curve magazine sex blog. She is also working on a diverse young adult series. Lauren is represented by Jane Dystel of DGLM.
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